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Facing the challenge of terror

It is debatable whether Lt-Gen Harwant Singh’s “part solution” will address all the challenges that the fourth generation terror warfare has thrown up (“What went wrong”, Oped Page article, Dec 10).

The current US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is a Cabinet Department to protect the US from terrorist attacks and tackle natural disasters. The homeland security policy is coordinated at the White House by the Homeland Security Council and incorporates 22 government agencies into a single organisation.

India’s Ministry of Home Affairs, however, has six charters to execute, of which only one deals with “militancy, insurgency and terrorism”. To execute these charters, it has six Departments to include Border Management, J&K affairs, States, Official language, Home and Internal Security. The logic of having a separate anti-terror ministry thus speaks for itself.

Maj-Gen RAJ MEHTA (retd), Mohali


The Centre should not hesitate to synergise with foreign internal security defense programmes (outside expert assistance) from countries like Israel, the UK and the US and resort to both non-military and military aspects of counter-terrorism.

Universities are also coming forward to meet their social and intellectual obligations to provide inter-disciplinary directions for nation building as the Punjabi University has re-christened the National Integration Chair in the name of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur.

He made the supreme sacrifice for upholding pluralism, oneness, love and brotherhood and whose radiant martyrdom provide eternal inspiration to all humanity.

Prof BALTEJ SINGH MANN, Punjabi University, Patiala


Can India proclaim to provide effective safeguard to its borders and coastline? I salute the martyrs who sacrificed their lives to save innocent human lives by sacrificing their own.

I would like to ask Raj Thackeray where was he and his goons when Mumbai was under attack by terrorists, the real outsiders? Why didn’t they come out to save Mumbai?

Those who have sacrificed their lives during the Operation Cyclone were not entirely Marathis.

They were none other than North Indians who have been the target of provocative hatred by Raj Thackeray and his goons.

Dr KAMALJIT SINGH, Professor, GNDU, Amritsar


We have already seen BJP’s Ram Lila (Ar Par Ki Larai ) with Pakistan that ended in the humiliation of our armed forces. Now the Congress’ Ram Lila (fight with determination and resolve) has started which will probably end well before the Republic Day celebrations.

Under the circumstances, the people of India must know that the Taliban entrenched in the NFWP have nearly defeated the Karzai government of Afghanistan though defended by the NATO armed forces and are posing a serious threat to take over Pakistan. With these developments in the neighbourhood, it is up to the people of India to decide what to do next.


Costlier services

The BSNL is the costliest telecom service in India. A number of BSNL customers are switching over to other service providers. True, call-wise, BSNL may not be costlier. It is the fixed rental which pinches the users most.

No matter how many calls you have made in the bi-monthly cycle, a rental fee of Rs 360 is compulsory. The BSNL could make this rental proportional to the calls made, with a minimum rental fee which should be nominal.

Prof P.K. GUPTA, Bathinda

Martyrs’ fund

I salute those brave policemen and soldiers who laid down their lives in Mumbai to save innocent men, women and children who were taken hostage by shameless terrorists. Our politicians will hardly care for these great martyrs after a few weeks. They will announce cash compensation which may not reach the kin of these martyrs.

Through these columns, I earnestly appeal to the Press and the electronic media to set up a Martyrs’ fund which should be monitored by responsible persons like former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Ms Kiran Bedi, Mr Ribeiro and others.

From the fund raised through donations, generous amounts should be sent to the families of these martyrs and for the education of the children. Depending on our self-centred and selfish politicians is useless. It is time India joined hands to help those who laid down their lives to protect us.

GERALDINE H. 34, Queen’s View, Juhu Road, Mumbai

Bad roads

Shockingly, 20 states and UTs have defaulted in utilising their allotted Central Road Fund resources though countless cities desperately need infrastructural development. Roads have dangerous pits and potholes. There are frequent accidents resulting in the loss of human life and property.

According to a report of the Union Ministry of Surface Transport and Highways, Maharastra, UP, Orissa, HP, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Delhi and Chandigarh are on the zero spend list. Even the Union Government’s repeated pleas to boost public spending have fallen on deaf ears.

One fails to understand why the state governments are apathetic and undermining the importance of developing and maintaining state highways and rural roads. The Centre must take stringent steps like punitive measures to ensure full utilisation of such funds.

O.P. COUSHIK, Kurukshetra



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